Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4

by Mamie Smith
     
 

Mamie Smith's approach to putting over a song was developed in vaudeville houses and theaters before microphones were used to amplify the human voice, a fact which places her in league with stentorian characters like Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, Al Jolson, and See more details below

Overview

Mamie Smith's approach to putting over a song was developed in vaudeville houses and theaters before microphones were used to amplify the human voice, a fact which places her in league with stentorian characters like Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, Al Jolson, and Jimmy Rushing. Her high-pitched, theatrically mannered delivery compares most accurately with that of Ethel Waters, Lucille Hegamin, Lavinia Turner, and Eva Taylor. The fourth and final volume in Document's complete Mamie Smith retrospective combines the last of her works from the 1920s with material from a little-known session that took place in 1931 and a couple of intriguing movie soundtracks, the last recorded during the spring of 1940. This stunningly beautiful woman was the primary star of Okeh Records from August 1920 through August of 1923. Partially eclipsed by the rise of young Bessie Smith, Mamie cut a half-dozen titles for the Ajax label in September of 1924 with members of the Choo Choo Jazzers (cornetist Louis Metcalf, pianist Louis Hooper, clarinetist Bob Fuller, and banjoist Elmer Snowden) and an expanded seven-piece edition of her Jazz Hounds. Her next recording dates took place in August 1926 with a similar unit that featured cornetist Tom Morris and trombonist Charlie Irvis. The remaining recorded evidence finds her singing in front of various orchestras and on vintage motion picture soundtracks. "The Jail House Blues," which features an unnamed single-string violinist backed by pianist Porter Grainger, comes from a Columbia short that was shot and released in 1929. Mamie's interpretation of Fats Waller's "Keep a Song in Your Soul" was waxed in 1931, right around the time she actually performed with Waller and some of his friends. "Harlem Blues" and "Lord! Lord!" were drawn from the soundtrack of the Jubilee motion picture Paradise in Harlem, directed by Joseph Seiden, with Lucky Millinder's orchestra and additional vocals by the Alphabetical Four. Mamie Smith's final years were a far cry from the prosperous luxury and fame of her heyday. Although she initially invested in quite a bit of real estate, a manipulative predatory louse by the name of Ocie Wilson weaseled practically every dollar out of her. Crippled with arthritis and virtually destitute, she passed away in a cheap boarding house on Eighth Avenue in 1946. Long ignored because her vocal style predated the vogue for gutsy blues and hot jazz, Mamie Smith's complete works have now been made available to those who are willing to listen with unbiased ears.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/01/1995
Label:
Document
UPC:
0714298536027
catalogNumber:
5360
Rank:
153807

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. My Mammy's Blues
  2. My Sweet Man
  3. What You Need Is Me
  4. Just Like You Took My Man Away from Me
  5. Remorseful Blues
  6. Lost Opportunity Blues
  7. Good Time Ball
  8. Goin' Crazy with the Blues
  9. Goin' Crazy with the Blues
  10. Sweet Virginia Blues
  11. What Have You Done to Make Me Feel This Way
  12. What Have You Done to Make Me Feel This Way
  13. I Once Was Yours I'm Somebody Else's Now
  14. Wonderful Mammy
  15. My Sportin' Man
  16. The Lure of the South
  17. The Jail House Blues
  18. Golfing Papa
  19. Jenny's Ball
  20. Keep a Song in Your Soul
  21. Don't You Advertise Your Man
  22. Harlem Blues
  23. Lord! Lord!

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mamie Smith   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Louis Metcalf   Cornet
Leslie Hutchinson   Piano
Gus Aiken   Cornet
Buddy Christian   Banjo
Porter Grainger   Piano
Horace Holmes   Cornet
Charlie Irvis   Trombone
J.C. Johnson   Piano
Elmer Snowden   Banjo
Billy Fowler   Various
Ernie Bullock   Saxophone
Bob Fuller   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Louis Hooper   Piano
Jake Frazier   Trombone
Alex Jackson   Baritone Saxophone
Norman Buster   Drums
Percy Glascoe   Saxophone
Tom Morris   Cornet

Technical Credits

Porter Grainger   Composer
J.C. Johnson   Composer
Johnny Parth   Producer
Ken Romanowski   Liner Notes

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